The new Sunday brunch at Kylin, a trendy lounge-bar-restaurant space that resembles so many in New Delhi these days, is a complete fulfilment of the menu’s “pan-Asian” promise. Consider the meal’s beginnings with a hot-and-sour soup, our grazing on cucumber and papaya salads, the unlimited offerings of sushi, the dim sum served in bamboo steamers, the tempura, chicken satay and the main entrees of chicken served atop noodles and rice. If just reading the list makes you hungry, block out a few hours on Sunday and head to this quiet corner of Basant Lok market for an experience that will make eggs and toast seem so passé.
The best part is the value—so much food and it just keeps coming. The hot-and-sour soup was generous with the mushrooms, while the lamb and chicken salads were really flavourful (they do sit outside on a buffet table in bowls, so if you are squeamish about salads and meats being left out in the Delhi summers, skip this part of the meal). The sauce with the satay was an amazing concoction of peanut and coconut flavours; I ended up dipping anything I could into it, even my sushi. As for the sushi—the real draw of an unlimited brunch—we liked the salmon and tuna nigiri, the pieces of raw fish atop steamed rice, quite a bit and asked for seconds. The rolls were okay—edible, but not especially remarkable. We asked if they could make the tuna spicy and the rolls we received literally had specks of lal (red) mirch atop the grains of rice. We laughed and decided to give points for service. The prawns—whether in tempura or in the steamed dumplings—were probably among the more memorable I’ve had in New Delhi, and if we weren’t so full, we would have asked for more. The brunch comes with unlimited domestic wine and beer, and a few fresh-fruit drinks. Don’t miss the kiwi margarita and the “Jus de Shaolin”, which amounts to a Bloody Mary with beet juice substituted for tomato juice. It’s strong, but not so strong that you’ll forget to order another. We should note here that Sunday brunches are kid-friendly and the waiters will oblige with juices and mocktails that will similarly please little brunchers.
The pork satay didn’t taste so fresh. The corn and spinach dim sum seemed soggy. And after such good starters, we found the main dishes—a mix of chicken and vegetables served atop noodles or rice—to be really lousy. You are warned: The music starts getting loud around 2:30pm and if you’re nursing a hangover from a raging Saturday night, it is the last thing you’ll want to hear. The deejay on the day we went seemed to like Enigma and all copycats; after 15 minutes, we were longing for the Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams numbers surely serving up mood music a few doors down at Nirula’s.
Brunch is served between 1pm and 5pm. The Sushi Sundays brunch is Rs1,250, while a version with sushi, satay, dim sum, tempura and beer, is Rs750. I recommend splurging.